A Proper Trip to Prague

18 Oct

I had been in the Czech Republic for almost a month without seeing Prague, even though I’m living only a 2-hour bus ride away. I had flown into Prague airport, but then went directly to my boss’ house, and then at the end of my first week of classes I went to the city for a one-day training course. But I spent the day in our Wattsenglish headquarters and didn’t see much of the city other than the bus station and the street where the office is. I didn’t see the castle or the Charles Bridge so I still didn’t know what people were talking about when they said how pretty Prague is. Literally every person that I’ve talked to who has been to Prague has said that they loved it. But I still hadn’t seen why…

Finally last week I had the opportunity to go to Prague and actually see it. And now I understand.

One of the other teachers, Jackie, who I went with to Cesky Kromlov two weeks earlier, had a birthday in early October so we went to Prague to celebrate. It ended up being four of us: me, my roommate Jessica, Jackie, and another teacher from Canada, Lisa.

We got in early Saturday and met up at the clock tower (Jackie and Lisa live in towns on the other side of Prague from KV). After we found the hostel (and experienced none of the problems we had at the hostel we’d booked in Cesky Krumlov, thankfully) we left for a nice afternoon of walking around and enjoying the sunny weather.

We decided to walk up this hill on the opposite side of the river from the city center. There is a funicular (little tram thingy) that goes up the hill, which we were thinking about taking, but the line was incredibly long so we opted for some free exercise.

Along the way we saw the Prague Hunger Wall and wandered into a small, secret garden that reminded me of something from Alice in Wonderland. That image was only reinforced by some people who were smoking pot under the branches of a willow tree.

The hike was really enjoyable, we had some nice views of the city and the castle. From there we wandered back down into town and got some lunch. At that point we had noticed quite a few guys walking around wearing kilts. It was too many for it to be just a coincidence, and then I remembered that Brett, my Scottish contact, had told me a few weeks earlier that Scotland was going to be playing CR in soccer soon. Lucky us, we were in Prague on that weekend.

After lunch we walked across the Charles Bridge and into the Old Town. Our plan had been to get a pint of beer then head back to the hostel and eat some snacks and drink some wine before going out on the town.

That plan went to hell about 5 minutes after we walked into The Dubliner, an Irish pub in the center of Old Town. The place was packed with Scottish guys, many in kilts. We were maybe the second group of females in the entire place so it was no challenge to attract attention from drunk men in skirts. Needless to say, we had more than one pint at The Dubliner and never made it back to the hostel to regroup before going out on the town. We hopped around to a few different bars, making new Scottish friends at every turn, and eventually closed out the night with some cheeseburgers and french fries from a stand in Wenceslas Square.

Sunday morning was a bit rough, and I don’t know that I’ve ever been more grateful for American chains that have migrated abroad. No, not Starbucks or McDonald’s. But TGI Fridays. Yes, there is a TGI Fridays in Prague. Two, actually. I thought it was funny when I saw it on Saturday, but when the girls suggested going there for breakfast/lunch on Sunday morning I was 110% for it.

Jessica and I took the bus home in the afternoon and then, pathetically, actually this is almost too pathetic to write … we stopped at the McDonald’s next to our flat. So not only did I eat greasy TGI Fridays in the morning, I capped the day off with some McNuggets and a hot fudge sundae. This was entirely reminiscent of that day last year in Huelva when Alicia and I went to Burger King in our sweatpants. You can take the girl out of America…

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One Response to “A Proper Trip to Prague”

  1. Ashley October 20, 2010 at 7:08 pm #

    I totally love this story. I am going to HAVE to see the Alice and Wonderland garden when I make it to Prague! Men in kilts! Classic. Love the sweatpants reference at the end as well. These posts make me miss you like crazy! Hope to talk to you soon 🙂

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